According to NHS England, the number of cases of sepsis has more than doubled in the past two years. New statistics reveal that in 2017/2018 350,344 cases of sepsis were diagnosed, this is in comparison to 169,215 in 2015/2016.
It has also been reported that a quarter of patients with sepsis have experienced delays in getting treatment. Hospitals are supposed to put a person on an antibiotic drip within an hour if sepsis is suspected.
What is Sepsis?
Sepsis is a relatively common and serious condition which occurs when there is an infection in the body. Whilst it’s often referred to as ‘blood poisoning’, it can affect the entire body. Sepsis is caused when the immune system over-reacts to infection or injury and starts attacking organs and tissue in the body. It can ultimately kill a patient or leave them with life-changing effects if the correct treatment is not administered quickly.
Dr Ron Daniels, chief executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, said:
‘We know antimicrobial resistance is on the increase and we also know that more than 40 per cent of E.coli strains – the most common bug causing sepsis – are now resistant to our ‘first-line’ antibiotics’.
‘So you can imagine a situation where a patient with a urinary tract infection is treated by a GP with antibiotics, but if the infection is caused by a type of E.coli that is resistant, it becomes more prolonged and complicated, increasing the risk of sepsis developing.’
While doctors were once confident that quick diagnosis and the use of antibiotics would successfully treat the condition, there is mounting concern about bacteria that are resistant to the drugs and a shortage of knowledge about how many sepsis cases involve such superbugs. However, it may also be possible that the cause of the influx of cases is because there is now a greater awareness of sepsis and its symptoms, due to the increased coverage in the media.
Where Can Negligence Occur?
Whilst sepsis is perhaps more common than first thought, it can often be the root of medical negligence claims. As the initial symptoms can be so mild, that they are often overlooked and confused with other conditions, such as flu. This can mean that patients are not assessed, and treated for sepsis when it’s still in the early stages. Any patient with signs and symptoms of infection should have at least a basic physical examination.
Another source of negligence can be when sepsis is identified but not treated effectively and quickly.
Both a delay in diagnosis and treatment can lead to sepsis worsening and a risk of septic shock, organ failure or death.
As, a firm dealing with medical negligence cases, we understand that sepsis can be devastating to you and your family. We can provide both legal advice and access to practical support services to help you cope physically and emotionally.
At Jordans Solicitors we understand that sepsis can have a devastating effect to you and your family and believe that where individuals have suffered injury caused by failings in the treatment provided by NHS and private medical practitioners, they should be compensated for their injuries. We have experienced lawyers available to provide you with advice on a range of injuries caused as a result of a delay in diagnosis, negligent treatment or negligent care, including incorrect dispensing of medications. We have offices in Dewsbury, Horsforth, Selby and Wakefield.
If you or a relative has been the victim of medical negligence and would like to consider making a claim for compensation, please contact out medical negligence team free on 0330 300 1103 or request a call back and a member of our team will contact you.